Plop Art

sol lewitt

Plop art (or Plonk art) is a pejorative slang term for public art (usually large, abstract, modernist or contemporary sculpture) made for government or corporate plazas, spaces in front of office buildings, skyscraper atriums, parks, and other public venues. The term connotes that the work is unattractive or inappropriate to its surroundings – that is, it has been thoughtlessly ‘plopped’ where it lies.

The very word ‘plop’ suggested something falling wetly and heavily in the manner of excrement — extruded, as it were, from the fundament of the art world, and often at public expense. Plop art is a play on the term pop art. The term was coined by architect James Wines in 1969. Wines was critical of the failure of much public art to take an environmentally-oriented approach to the relationship between public art and architecture.

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